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Future planning: what user preferences would be useful?

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I am starting to think about user preferences. This won't happen for a while, but I'd like to gather input so we can start thinking about a functional design.

Currently a user has a single account across our network. When you edit your description or your display name or your blog link, those changes apply on all communities where you have a presence. Similarly, when you link a Stack Exchange account (on communities that support data import), what you're really linking is your SE network account -- you only need to link it once.

User profiles have a very small preferences section now -- there's one preference, to turn keyboard shortcuts on or off, which I believe is a global preference. We've had a request for a per-community preference for a default license -- you might ask why per-community, but it makes sense to me that if you are hobbyist photographer but a professional writer, you might want different settings on those two communities.

The possibility of per-category preferences has also been raised, again with licenses.

We need to understand the potential use cases before we design something. Knowing whether there are 3 or 30 things, for instance, or knowing whether preferences are mostly global with a few exceptions or mostly local or all over the place, makes a difference.

My question to y'all is: what kinds of things should be settable as user preferences, and with what scoping (global, community, category)? Some suggestions I've heard (please feel free to develop these in answers) include:

  • default license -- per community, maybe per category

  • whether your votes are public or private by default (assuming we implement optional public votes; we don't have this now) -- per community

  • enable keyboard shortcuts - global?

  • just to acknowledge it before deferring it: dark mode :-) (yeah maybe someday, not now, presumably global)

What else should we be considering?

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+10
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status-completed Favorite tags It's an idea I was thinking about since a while ago, but wouldn't it be nice if use …

almost 2 years ago

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Sort posts in one's own profile by score or age The profile main page includes a selection of posts (currently top 15 …

almost 2 years ago

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whether your votes are public or private by default I would probably use that, but it also shouldn't be a big deal to …

almost 2 years ago

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status-completed Enable/Disable Autosave Self-explanatory, let users choose whether they want to turn the autosavi …

almost 2 years ago

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status-partially-completed: can now set per community (but not per category). Allow users to select their own default …

almost 2 years ago

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status-completed Be able to not have default licenses This is related to being able to pick a default per category …

over 1 year ago

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Enable/disable display of Hot Notable Network Questions. [If we ever have the Notable Network Questions at all.]

almost 2 years ago

+3
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Use a monospace font in the editor (enable/disable) For those like me who want to use a proportional font when writin …

almost 2 years ago

+5
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Some way to track the votes you are receiving. Some kind of "reputation timeline" that explains which posts were voted u …

over 1 year ago

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Assuming the favourite tags per community feature gets implemented, then how about some manner of social media-like "fee …

almost 2 years ago

+4
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With respect to licence types per category: the Photography & Video site default is CC BY-SA 4.0, but the Contests/Criti …

almost 2 years ago

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Choosing the language of the interface. In my experience in non English sites from SE, not having a user interface in …

over 1 year ago

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Currently, the user profile has these fields: - Avatar - Username - Profile description - Website URL - Twitter a …

over 1 year ago

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I would enjoy having a network profile, where I could see all the posts and comments I have posted over time.

over 1 year ago

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A succinct list of posts, the time they were posted and its current score, as well as the last time they were active. (a …

over 1 year ago

+4
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Show/Disable last seen time This is a pretty standard preference for those sites that do have "last seen" tracking, f …

almost 2 years ago

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It would be great to have a way to define where the preview is showed: above, below, or next to the text editor

over 1 year ago

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Title before body in post editor There has been much discussion about the fact that the title is put after the body o …

almost 2 years ago

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status-declined I would like a way to disable Markdown by default in posts I write. The HTML formatting is richer, …

almost 2 years ago

1 comment thread

General comments (3 comments)
Post
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status-completed

Favorite tags

It's an idea I was thinking about since a while ago, but wouldn't it be nice if users could choose 'favorite' tags, and they would be highlighted in some way on the feed? (maybe with a different background).

For example, on Software Q&A, I would favorite JavaScript and Node.js, since those are the technologies that I work the most in. On Languages Q&A, I would favorite Japanese and Chinese, the languages I'm learning.

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1 comment thread

General comments (9 comments)

Comments on Future planning: what user preferences would be useful?

General comments
Moshi‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

Was debating whether to put this as its own feature request but since this discussion exists might as well put it here.

Monica Cellio‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

Interesting edge case -- technically tags aren't per-category but, rather, tags are part of a tag set and each category uses a tag set, which can be shared. So, for example, if Software Dev had a Code Review category and it used the same tag set as Q&A, then we'd probably highlight that JavaScript tag in both places by default, unless you think it needs to be per-category? So I guess you've found a fourth scope: "tag set". :-)

Moshi‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

@MonicaCellio oh, is that how it works? Are tag sets per-community? Because in that case, I'll edit it and change it to suggest a per-community setting.

Monica Cellio‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

Tag sets are per-community, yes. Every community has two tag sets to start, called Main and Meta. Most of our communities that have other categories are using Main on them. Meta doesn't have meta but both Blog and Site Proposals have their own tag sets. Note that tag names are unique within tag sets but not globally; on Writing, Main "editing" and Meta "editing" would be two different tags (as is proper; they're talking about different things).

Moshi‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

@MonicaCellio Wait, so communities can have multiple tag sets? That makes things a bit more complicated... I guess it really is gonna be a "per tag set" scope if it gets implemented.

Monica Cellio‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

@Moshi a community can have multiple tag sets. A category within a community must use exactly one tag set. Tag sets contain only tags; they cannot contain other tag sets.

Lundin‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

This means that if I wish to discuss a tag in the main site on meta, I might actually be discussing a tag with the same name but different meaning and tagi wiki on meta. Seems messy. I'd rather have meta get access to all tags of the main site, but the main site doesn't get access to meta-specific tags.

mbomb007‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

Note that SE also has an "Ignored Tags" setting, which is useful.

Monica Cellio‭ wrote almost 2 years ago:

@Lundin we probably need some tag-referencing syntax that includes the set name. Gotta think about this. Aside from meta being its own thing we don't expect a lot of diverse tag sets, but we'll have to see what communities want to build.